The oft reconstructed Cathedral of San Giuseppe in Vasto was originally built in the 13th century, on top of an earlier structure. Highlight is a “Madonna and Child” triptych by Michele Greco da Valona.
Cathedral of San Giuseppe in Vasto
Address: Via Buonconsiglio, 12 – Vasto. Phone: +39 0873 367193). Opening times: From 08:00 till 12:30 and from 16:00 till 19:00. Ticket price: Free.
History and description
The Romanesque Cathedral of Vasto has only been dedicated to San Giuseppe since 1808 and only been Cathedral since 1853. The church was renamed in honor of King Joseph Bonaparte.
It had originally been built in the 13th century by count Rolando Palatino on a pre-existing Augustinian convent. At the time, the church was still dedicated to Santa Margarita. In the 17th century, a convent was added and the name was changed to Sant’Agostino.
In the meantime, in 1566, the church had been plundered and burned by the Turks.
The building material was a white stone typical of the Majella area in Abruzzo. The main feature of the facade is the finely decorated portal. An inscription in the lunette states that Ruggero de Magistris made the portal in 1290. For the rose window, a piece taken in 1928 from a church in L’Aquila was used.
The Baroque bell tower was constructed in 1730. Its mechanical clock, which chimes every 15 minutes, was added in 1814.
The Latin cross interior received a neo-Gothic facelift in 1890.
What to see
The wooden “Our Lady of Mercy and Child” triptych was painted in 1505 by an originally Albanian artist known ad Michele Greco da Valona. Mary is depicted with Santa Caterina d’Alessandria and San Nicola di Mira. In order to show the original painting, several layers that had been added later, needed to be removed.
The staue of San Giuseppe was made in the 19th century.
The stained-glass windows depict Biblical characters.